Episode 31: Finding Your Voice

On February 23, 2019, Kasie chatted with Cassie Premo Steele, poet and writing coach. Here are the show notes:

Introductions:

Dr. Kasie Whitener, GenX Fiction Writer, Process Consultant

Dr. Cassie Premo Steele, Fiction Writer, Writing Coach

Theme for the day:

Finding Your Voice

Agenda review:

  • Get to know Cassie Premo Steele
  • Finding Your Voice via writing
  • Writing to metabolize, to process, to understand, and then to be understood
book opened on top of white table beside closed red book and round blue foliage ceramic cup on top of saucer
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Link to the podcast

Segment 1

Who is Cassie Premo Steele? Tell us your writing journey and your discoveries along the way.

From her website:

“Since receiving my Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1996, my work has been dedicated to the writing, research, and practice about the ways mindfulness can help women achieve work-life balance and live with greater meaning and joy. I am the author of 16 books and audio publications, and my poetry has been nominated 6 times for a Pushcart Prize. I specialize in helping women overcome fears and reduce workplace anxiety through fun and simple techniques such as mindfulness meditation and journaling.”

Cassie’s Books:

The ReSistors – a novel about women in today’s #resist movement

Tongues in Trees – collected poems

Earth, Joy, Writing – a “craft book” that connects writing as a journey to an experience with nature

We talked a lot in our first meeting about the Women’s March in 2017 and how it inspired us both to come home and take action. Let’s get a little bit into how we felt and how we responded to what was happening in 2016 and how the Women’s March seemed to be both an outlet and a turning point for us.

Your work in gender studies must inform your work. Specifically, The ReSistors, you said, includes several different “kinds” of feminists. Can you elaborate on that?

Segment 2

Where do you find your voice? You have nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. Is there a “true” Cassie voice in there? Or is the voice more about the experience and the work reflective of the journey?

What would you recommend for novice writers in terms of reading-to-learn? This is the writing coach part of the conversation.

Not to completely take advantage of having a writing coach in the studio, but: what are some of the big writing challenges you see with your clients? What kinds of strategies do you help them with?

You deliver writing workshops, too. What are some topics you address in workshops? Got any quick tips for our listeners?

We’ve talked on this show before about writing through grief, our friend Mary Sturgill and I think of writing as a way to process hard emotions. You mentioned something like that to me, too. Can you elaborate on this idea of facing the real work of grief? Of working through the hard emotions through writing?

Segment 3

Writing workshop: Cassie reads “Bud” from her book Tongues in Trees and we are prompted to do this exercise:

Ten seconds of a writing prompt — in your journal write whatever comes to mind.

What is my root saying?

I am budding _____ (full in the blank)

When I fall, I can ________ (fill in the blank)

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